How to Select the Right Walk In Bathtub
Selecting the most appropriate walk in bathtub is just a matter of questions you should as yourself and ask your walk in bathtub dealer.
Size / Comfort
Consider the size of the person who will be using the walk in bathtub.
- Will the model you select fit this person comfortably?
- Is the seat comfortable?
- Will the water reach mid chest on all bathers?
- How many gallons of water does the walk in bathtub hold?
- Are the safety bars / grab bars placed where they can be used properly?
- Will the walk in bathtub fit in the current bathroom?
- Can the bather use and reach the water, drain, or any additional feature controls safely and easily?
- Will there be access to a handheld shower head?
Door / Access Options
Consider how the door and door controls will be orientated.
- Will the walk in bathtub have an inward or outward swinging door?
- Will an outward swinging door be obstructed in any way?
- Will an inward swinging door inhibit the bathers access in and out of the walk in bathtub?
- Are the door controls easy to control for the bather or bathing assistant?
- How secure is the door seal and locking mechanism?
- Is there a warranty or guarantee on the door seal not to leak?
Keep in mind how will the walk in bathtub be used.
- Does the bather require assistance getting in and out?
- If an independent bather, is the floor properly textured for traction?
- Are the support rails strong enough to hold the weight of the bather if needed?
- Water level overflow drains? At what height?
- How high is the walk in bathtub door threshold?
Can a current or future injury or illness could diminish the bathers’ ability to utilize the tub.
- Is there safe access to an oxygen or respirator apparatus from the tub?
- Can mobility assists like wheel chairs and walkers be accessed easily by the bather?
- Will the bather need any lifting / hoisting equipment or human assistance to enter the walk in bathtub?
- Will the condition of the bather degrade over time and future assistance will be easily applied?
Construction & Material Questions
Be aware of the differences that walk in bathtub manufacturers have in the fabrication of the tub.
- What materials are used? Fiberglass, Acrylic, Both?
- Is the outer surface of the walk in bathtub non-porous?
- Are there leveling legs on the walk in bathtub for easy installation?
- What is the expected life of the shell of the walk in bathtub? In years?
- What is the internal structure of the tub?
- Metal Frame? (Recommended)
- Integrated Wood Frame?
- Frameless Shell
Bathing Enhancement Options
Additional features / options to the walk in bathtub that will enhance the experience and comfort.
- Water Jetting (whirlpool / jacuzzi)?
- Air Jetting (hydrotherapy)?
- Self Cleaning?
- Neck Support?
- Lumbar Support?
Always consider how this walk in bathtub is going to get to it’s final location. There may be demolition required in hard to access areas or smaller spaces which is not uncommon but should be considered before starting the project or purchasing a larger walk in bathtub.
- Inside Bathing area dimensions – length, width, depth? (more for replacement rather than upgrading to a walk in bathtub)
- Bath Tub Footprint? Length & Width? (What size tub can fit in the bathroom?)
- What is the current plumbing configuration? Facing the tub:
- Right handed controls
- Left handed controls
- Free standing (from the floor up / on right side / on left side)
- Is the floor strong enough to hold the walk in bathtub, the bather, and the water?
- How is the tub entering the home?
- What is the entry way size?
- Are there any hallways or turns that are narrow?
- How big is the bathroom door?
- If going to upper levels or downstairs, how narrow is stair way?
- Is elevator access required?
- Will a crane from the outside be required?